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. this development required individualized and particular orders from the fisa court to conduct investigations. let's fast forward to 2001. president bush decided in secret to authorize the national security agency to start a new program of warrantless surveillance inside the united states. this is in complete contravention of the fourth amendment and complete contravention of the law at that time. as i'm sure and many of my colleagues will certainly recall this was revealed to the american public four years later when it was reported in "the new york times" in 2005. and in response after years of back and forth contentious debate, congress passed the fisa amendments act, the bill that we are considering on this floor today. we're considering a reauthorization. this law gave the government new surveillance authorities, but it also included a sunset provision to ensure that congress examines where the law is working and the way it was intended. now, the debate we're having right now on this floor is that reexamination. i will just note that i think it's unfortunate that we're doing this at the last
the economy is too fisa to raise taxes on anybody. mr. president -- he said, the town -- the economy is too fragile to raise taxes on anybody. mr. president, the economy is still fragile. host: back to the phones. senator in tennessee on our line for independents. you are on the line. caller: i am independent. regarding the fiscal cliff, i disagree with some of the ideas that you actually concur with. a lot of right-wing people are considered christian conservatives. we cannot apply those two situations such as the fiscal cliff. this is mark 12:41. many who were rich cast in much for the treasury. in this economy and give it to people who aren't producing that's not a good formula for making the economy grow. let's get back to a system that taxes people fairly but gives america an advantage in the rest of the world. let's face it, the united states isn't just competing with each other we're competing with other countries trying to catch up with us. and one of the points in my book is we've got to get serious in this nation about being a competitive nation to outcompete the other count tris
the house. they also approved a five-year extension of fisa, the foreign intelligence surveillance act, which allows the government to conduct surveillance on foreign targets without individual court orders. that bill heads to the president was expected to sign it. as for the congressional leaders, they met with the white house. afterwards, the president told reporters that senate majority praetor -- senate majority leader harry reid and minority leader mitch mcconnell are continuing to try to come to a agreement. if they did not, the president has asked senator reid to introduce a basic package for an up or down vote. they will continue legislative business sunday. the house live at 2:00 p.m. sunday, with bullets as early as 6:00 p.m. eastern. the senate is in at 1:00 p.m. eastern, live on c-span2. >> also today on capitol hill, senator carl levin and john mccain of for their ideas for bypassing filibuster's to take up legislation, a counterproposal to another plan that would have to change the senate rules to a simple majority vote. it spoke to reporters for about half an hour. -- th
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